The place and importance of Masnavi, written by Mevlana Rumi, is unarguable in the Turkish Literature because of the immense interest in it throughout centuries. The emphasis on it since the very first days when it was written and the many studies conducted on it show this interest clearly. Masnavi is the “Magz-ı Qur’an”, and is a hidden treasure full of precious gems, as Ankaravî said. Since it is not possible for every single mind to collect these precious gems from this treasure, various commentaries have been written for Masnavi throughout years. The most preferred among these is the work of İsmail Rüsûhî-yi Ankaravî with the name Mecmû’atü’l-Letâyif and Matmûratü’l-Ma’ârif. The commentator made it to be called with the titles such as “Hazret-i Şârih, Şârih-i Ankaravî, Şârih-i Masnavi, and Şârih İsmail”. When Ankaravî prepared his commentary, he both included his own commentaries and also included the commentaries of previous commentators. Before Ankaravî, the commentators Sürûrî and Şem’î was mentioned as the commentators of the six volumes of the Masnavi, and the Venerable Commentator Ankaravî refers to the commentaries of these two commentators in his work, sometimes to show that their comments are accurate, and sometimes to show that their comments are incorrect. These references are generally inclined to show that his comments are more accurate. When he comments on their statements that he considers as incorrect, he says that Surûrî and Şem’î’ imitated each other, and did not write their commentaries in accordance with “siyak u sibak”, and therefore their commentaries cannot be accepted. After he explains the places where Surûrî and Şem’î’ made mistakes, he closes the topic by presenting his own judgment. Ankaravî does not only focus on mistakes, but he also mentions the comments of Surûrî and Şem’î that he considers as accurate. Based on this attitude of his, we can suggest that the Venerable Commentator handled the fourth volume of the Masnavi in a comparative manner. In this study, we will try to reveal the critical identity of Ankaravî based on his evaluations on Sürûrî and Şem’î included in the fourth volume of the Commentary on Masnavi, which was prepared by Mehmet ÖZDEMİR as a critical text. In order to facilitate the evaluations, the numbers of the couplets given by Mehmet ÖZDEMİR in his doctorate thesis will be used.
İsmâil Rüsûhî-yi Ankaravî, Masnavi Commentary, Sürûrî, Şem’î, Critical Identity.